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After Months Away, Some of LA’s Star Restaurants Reopen Today

Plus, dangerous times at Cheesecake Factory, and free wings for vaccinated folks

Commerson’s yellow-tinted dining room filled with dining customers and staff.
Commerson restaurant, before the pandemic

It’s shaping up to be a big summer for Los Angeles’s restaurant scene, in more ways than one. Not only are new restaurants coming online all the time, but with continually low coronavirus case numbers and an expected full (and maskless) reopening coming on June 15, some of the city’s prominent older spots are returning to life as well. That includes Everson Royce Bar, the mostly-patio hangout in the Arts District, known for its burgers, wine, and good times. The restaurant posted on Instagram last night that it would be returning to life today, with both walk-ins and reservations available.

Meanwhile, La Brea restaurant Commerson formally reopens tonight, manning one corner of what has quietly become one of the city’s busiest dining blocks thanks to Met Her At a Bar and the Firestone building redevelopment that now houses All Season Brewing and Chicas Tacos. Chef Sascha Lyon has taken full control of the Commerson space, turning out contemporary American fare with a French lean, meaning everything from oysters to chicken liver mousse to a $48 ribeye, with drinks from Dee Ann Quinones. Happy hour runs 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., with dinner service only for now.

Other restaurants, like Fairfax’s famed Animal, likely won’t return until later this summer. But in the meantime, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo have cooked up some outdoor ‘cabana’ seating as part of their Jon & Vinny empire down the block. It’s the sort of build-out that some city officials hope will become a permanent part of the LA dining landscape, and one more example of the exciting summer expected across Los Angeles.

In other news:

  • Two separate incidents at Southern California locations of Cheesecake Factory have left customers and employees rattled. First was a stabbing at the Westfield Topanga location, where a person allegedly cut two workers while trying to steal some baked goods. Over in Old Pasadena, a traffic collision sent a vehicle into the front of the restaurant, shattering glass and pushing aside tables.
  • A fire at Papi Tacos & Churros in Jefferson Park has knocked the restaurant offline for a few months, most likely.
  • Gemini Bakehouse has soft opened in Silver Lake. The takeaway space serves cookies, biscuits, and more, with pizza and other goodies to come soon.
  • Have you been looking for Bartz Barbecue, the longtime South Bay pop-up known for smoking at breweries? He’s not coming back, says owner Dustin Bartz, at least not for regularly scheduled public cooks. Instead, check out his ongoing barbecue classes and catering. As for opening a restaurant some day: “My answer is if I wanted to flush my money down the toilet I would rather do it at roulette table in Vegas.” Got it.
  • Here’s the easiest deal you’ll see in LA: Show up to the Greyhound today (Glendale location only) for some free wings starting at 4 p.m., so long as you are vaccinated. Bring along some proof, and eat inside.

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